Culture in the Workplace: Learning from the Tech Giants
Step onto the Google campus in Mountain View, California, and you'll feel almost transported to an alternate universe. In this utopia, employees are required to take breaks and encouraged to spend them actively. Free yoga classes, exercise balls scattered about the office, standing desks, and company bicycles all scream "get up and move!" And in the typical Silicon Valley sun, who can blame Google employees for opting to move from office to office in the open air?
Google is and has been for many years number one on the Fortune 500 list of top companies. Anybody who has worked, works, or wants to work for Google will agree on one single factor that keeps the company at the top: its unmatched culture in the workplace.
The unmatched treatment of employees may have resulted from a persistent lack of qualified data scientists in the labor market, but it has resulted in one of the most productive workforces on the scene today. All that productivity happens in between mandatory breaks!
Staying active has been shown to increase productivity, attention span, creativity, and improve the mental, physical, and emotional condition. Activity, it would seem, is the solution to a large chunk of our problems. And yet, companies like Google struggled to find ways to keep team members physically active and at their desks, actually working.
Top companies like Twitter, Facebook, and of course, Google have all implemented standing desks and all have seen them contribute remarkably to their highly-desired workplace culture. Besides the obvious health benefits, standing seems to stimulate employee creativity and discipline. One anecdote even suggests that switching to a standing desk helped an employee quit smoking!
Indeed, the minds at top tech companies can thank standing desks for their incredible success.
Bringing Effective Employee Culture to the Next Generation
We recognize that this culture in the workplace is redefining the standards for productivity and problem-solving in the workplace of the future. For this reason, it is critical that we take advantage of standing desks in developing a better culture in the classroom.
Many students will likely work on standing desks in the future, so why not start preparing them now? The offices today's students will someday work in are hard to imagine, with the constant innovation we see. Even if future workers "outgrow" standing desks, students can take advantage of their benefits as they develop.
This new classroom culture will foster creative student solutions, better attention spans, and improve student productivity and it can help us address childhood obesity. The outcome will be a new generation of prepared and productive workers, ready to tackle the problems of tomorrow.